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Trinity Western University Memorial Garden: Feature Project

Solus Hemi firepit lit at memorial garden university of trinity western langley BC

A scholarship and courtyard renovation honor the life of Jordan Thiessen.

A very special fire pit was installed at the Trinity Western University in British Columbia. It is in memory of the life of Jordan Thiessen who was a student at the university. During his time at the university Jordan felt that the unloved and uncared for Douglas Courtyard could be a beautiful space. With some planting and a fire pit it would offer a place for students to relax and enjoy on campus.  Something he shared with his parents during a campus visit.

When Jordan sadly lost his life on October 18 2012, just 12 days after he married his university sweetheart, the family wanted to do something in his memory. His parents, Shirley and Carey set up the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship endowment but they wanted to do more. They recognized the deep impact that the University had on Jordan’s short life. They felt that making over the Douglas courtyard would not only honor Jordan, but it would also benefit all future students. Shirley threw herself into raising funds for both the scholarship and the courtyard project. The Jordan Thiessen Memorial Courtyard was dedicated September 14, 2013. On what would have been Jordan’s 24th birthday.


Trinity Western University
Hemi Fire Pit at Jordan Thiessen Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

The memorial garden is now a wonderful place for students to enjoy, which gives great pleasure to Jordan’s parents.  If you would like to give to the courtyard project, or to the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship, please email Shirley Thiessen at

For more information on Solus fire pits and water features please contact us.

TF: 1.877.255.3146



Solus Firepits for Commercial Projects

Solus provides quality commercial grade firepits for hotels, restaurants, resorts and other commercial locations. Our firepits have the best warranty in the business and outstanding in-house customer service. We ship in museum quality containers almost anywhere in the world. We have CAD drawings for all of our designs and regularly assist architects, designers and developers in specifying a Solus firepit for  commercial projects.  Contact us to discuss your project.

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Feature Project: The River, the ultimate in Calgary luxury living

Our feature project is a new development in Calgary. The River is the ultimate in luxury living.

The new River development can be found in the Mission area of Calgary. This area blends old and new architecture. 4th Street is located here and is very popular, with it’s fashionable shops and restaurants. This sought after area, riverside location and great design has seen The River become a popular piece of Calgary real estate.

The River development Calgary
The River, Calgary

The talented team that created The River included Ledcor properties. Ledcor acted as both the developer and construction team on the project. They have been responsible for landmark buildings such as the Shaw Tower and the Shangri -La Hotel in Vancouver.  The architects firm Dialog led the design team, with luxury interiors by McIntyre Bills.  Dialog have also been behind some of Canada’s most famed buildings. Through the use of stone, glass, concrete and steel, they create buildings that relate to their environments.  McIntrye Bills are a interior design firm with over 20 years experience.  They are well known for their creative mix of elegance, comfort and functionality.  The strengths of this team are clear to see in the River development.

The River Calgary
The River luxury interiors by McIntyre Bills

Like many developers and designers, they understand the value of outdoor space in these buildings. They have maximized this potential by installing Solus fire pits into the balconies and terraces within the overall scheme.  The Solus concrete designs do compliment the overall exterior design of the building. The high grade materials we use to create our fire pits sit well with the luxury feel of this development.

Hemi Fire pit
The River master bedroom patio with Solus Decor Hemi fire pit

This image show a Hemi 26″ fire bowl. The fire bowl has added a touch of luxury and warmth to the balcony of a master bedroom suite.  The Hemi is available in 3 different sizes and 3 different fuel options. They are hugely adaptable to any outdoor space and location. The design of the Hemi works very well in this setting but there are other Solus designs available.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about the Hemi or similar products.

TF: 1-877-255-3146

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Top Ten Tips for Renovating an Existing Fireplace

Fireplaces don’t have to be the ugly duckling of your home – but so often they are!  It is true that we have seen our fair share of ugly fireplaces in our 18 year history.  This article deals with the top ten considerations when renovating your existing fireplace area.  The approach is the same whether you “Solusize it “ or simply change out your firebox.

Attractive fireplace features factor big in the enjoyment AND  in the resale of a home – right after kitchens and bathrooms., And yet, they are often left to the very end of a renovation in both time and budget.  Sometimes what goes in can be quite a design disappointment.Ugly old fireplace

So to help prevent some of those post renovations blues, Solus presents you with the Top Ten Tips that we recommend you consider before redesigning your existing fireplace.

1. Fuel Choice: Based on what is available at your location, you will need to determine if you want a natural gas, electric, wood-burning or a bio-fuel fireplace.  Reputable fireplace shops in your area should be able to steer you in the right direction.  Most fireplace retailers carry a select number of brands and specialize in providing a safe flame for your home. It’s a good idea to visit at least two shops within your local area, as they will have competing brands and should give you up to date advice about fuel choices that can be delivered to your home.

2. Size and Scale: slider1You will need to keep in mind the scale of the room and how much of a statement you wish to make with the fireplace. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger and taller the room is, the more you can entertain the idea of a larger fireplace and/or surround /cladding combination.

3. Focal Point: Is the fireplace going to be the focus of the room to gather around or will it only be used on special occasions? The furniture placement will greatly effect where the fireplace is viewed from and how.

4. Style: Consider what style you are looking for as the fireplace and surround can dramatically alter the look of a room. Is the style of the home contemporary, traditional or transitional (somewhere in-between)?Fraser with Overmantel Concrete Fireplace Surround

5. Hearth: Does it require a hearth? You can have no hearth, or one that is flush with the floor, an elevated hearth or sitting hearth.  A substantial hearth will add great prominence and don’t forget elevation.  Although a hearth is not essential, one will greatly add to the look of your fireplace.

6. Mantel:  Would you like a mantel? If hanging stockings is important it will require one. If considering tile, flagstone or paneling then one might not be required. More than being a place to store nick-naks, a mantel can break-up the look of the wall and also distribute heat away from any paintings or TVs above the fireplace.

7. TV Screen:  This one is usually the most contentious issue when designing a fireplace – as one party may want a 60″ inch behemoth on the wall and the other one wants… well TAPER in HALVA anything else!  Of course any good relationship is about compromise so let’s mount that TV, but make sure it’s not too high or your neck will pay the price and remember to use a heat barrier, like a concrete mantel, to keep the heat away from the AV.

8. Sub Straight:  A bit more technical, but your fireplace installer will be able to help.  As you get closer to the installation date you will need to decide on a sub straight, which can be anything from concrete board, plywood or drywall depending on the surround, cladding or fireplace box you are going forward with.

9. Structure: Find out what structural limitations you may have to work within. There may be all sorts of things lurking behind your wall that dictate what you are able to install. You will want your contractor or builder to review prior to going full steam ahead with you renovation.

10. Budget: Last, but certainly not least!  What is your budget?  Remember to allow for the cost of the materials plus the cost of installation.  A fireplace renovation done wrong is not easy to undo. It is not something one does every day – consider a professional.

If you ask yourself all of these question you are one step ahead of the game for having a

Happy at home by the Fireplace
Happy at home by the Fireplace

hassle free and on-time fireplace installation. Then all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful fire feature or share it and invite your friends and family over so they can tell you how great your new fireplace looks!

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Festive Deliveries and Holiday Mantels

Beautiful hearths decorated with the season’s finest have been a tradition in northern and southern climes for hundreds of years.  Through the chimney, the fireplace hearth has been credited as a favored landing spot for our man in red and white.. good ol’ Santa Clause.

Santa’s got a tough job, but with a great deal of experience and an excellent team of elves, he’s able to rise to the challenge year after year and deliver perfectly wrapped and operating toys all over the world.

Cornice surround with Solus 16" x 48" tile in Halva
Cornice surround with Solus 16″ x 48″ tile in Halva & in holiday mode.

Solus understands this job perfectly!  We crate and ship our contemporary fireplace surrounds, hearths, mantels, tiles etc., all over the world! And like Santa’s, our products arrive at their new homes in perfect condition, ready for local installations … and perfect delivery portals for our good friend Santa Claus.

Festive Halva Cornice surround with Solus 16" x 48" tile in Halva and natural light.
Festive Halva Cornice surround with Solus 16″ x 48″ tile in natural light.

This festive Cornice  fireplace surround and the Solus 16″ x 48″ concrete tile in Halva was shipped over 2000 miles, and perfectly installed by a local tile setter – and now it’s ready for Santa’s arrival!  “Our installer finished the fireplace on the weekend. It looks fabulous! Your website is good but the photos don’t do the product justice. They are very beautiful and we love it… the experience has been great.  Your shippers are amazing and everything got here fine.  Thanks for everything …”. from our happy Solus customer.

We also thought it would be fun to share some links for some last minute inspiration … or for you to keep on reference and book mark to prepare for next year.

Holiday Fireplace decor from Apartment Therapy

Holiday Mantels by Houzzers on

Have fun preparing for Santa and Happy Holidays from Solus Decor!

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Retirement deck renovation features Hemi firebowl on HGTV

Solus Decor is yet again pleased to have the Hemi 36″ firebowl featured on HGTV’s Disaster Decks! In the Deck Anne Hates episode, designer Paul Lafrance helps a retired couple, Anne and Paul, rebuild their 30 year old decaying deck that was becoming not only mossy, but dangerous.

The goal was to build an oasis of a deck that Anne and Paul could enjoy their retirement on. Thus, it would be a no-brainer to include a Solus firebowl that adds an artistic architectural element to any outdoor space.  We think Paul Lafrance did a stunning job making the Hemi firebowl the focal point of this beautifully designed deck, which will now provide warmth and ambiance throughout their golden years.


The Hemi firebowl creates an instant gathering place for relaxed conversations, dining atmosphere or backyard campfire marshmallows. (Yes, you can actually roast marshmallows on them!).  In addition to their beauty, they are a wise choice for a deck one has invested in as they are built to withstand the extreme climates of Canadian weather due to them being made of our ultra high performance concrete which is unique to Solus.


Unlike many fire pits on the market, all Solus fire pits are CSA certified as appliances (not just burners) to match new regulations in BC, ON and AB.

Enjoy these photos from the Deck Anne Hates episode on HGTV

Hemi on HGTV

Hemi on Disaster Decks

Hemi on HGTV

Hemi on HGTV

Hemi on Disaster Decks


If you’d like more info about the Solus Hemi firebowl for your outdoor space or upcoming renovation, talk with one of our design consultants at 1 877 255 3146 or visit

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Solus Lighting Up February 2013 Events!

Solus fire pits are helping to light up two fabulous and informative events for design fans in Vancouver and Toronto this month.

Solus with friends at the BC Home and Garden Show:

We can’t wait to see what our friends at Beneath Your Feet Landscaping and Design will come up with this year at the 20BYF 2012 Halo and Circle gate13 BC Home and Garden Show. They’ll be using a Solus fire pit in Dream Garden #6, February 20th to 24th at BC Place Stadium.  The design and logistics of just setting up landscape displays at this show alone are impressive.

We loved how they used the Halo Fire Pit in their garden oasis last year.  Here are a couple of photos to from the 2012 show.  Rest assured that if you can’t make the show in person, we’ll be sure to post more shots from this year’s landscape extravaganza!DSC_0054

Solus and Eternit paired up at Designer’s Walk in Toronto, Canada.

Solus concrete fire pits paired with Eternit pressed fiber cement chairs and planters have been a big hit with designers, hospitality venues and home owners alike.  All are on display at the Landmark by Crozier show room at Designer’s Walk Resource Centre in Toronto, where you can view and experience the Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl  in the Eternit setting.

36 Hemi Firebowl at Landmark DW TO Landmark is holding a lunch and learn presentation about Eternit on February 14th.  Designer’s Walk is located at 148 Bedford Road.    Click here for more information.

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Solus Decor Recycling Series – Part 1 – Concrete Elephants!

Since its inception 16 years ago, Solus has been conscious of its waste stream.


Six years ago, we started to seriously consider our recycling streams and our carbon footprint.  We had conversations with a group at UBC who were just launching a program for companies called Offsetters, a carbon footprint management program.   They came to our plant and gave us some very valuable instructional tips.  This led us into a full on attack on our waste streams.  We had just moved to a larger production facility and built spaces and recycling depositories to accommodate our recycling program.

We found that as we became larger, we started to produce more waste.  Our customer base was also increasing and we began  to ship all over North America.  This was an exciting development, as it allowed us to create even more fabulous concrete products, like our line-up of outdoor fire pit products, and even more fireplace surrounds and mantels.

Yikes!  There’s a concrete Elephant in the room!

Having been around for 16 + years, we have literally poured thousands upon thousands of batches and therefore, our approach to production is quite scientific. Our formulas and mathematics when it comes to producing our concrete is accurate within 2%.  We minimize the waste whenever and wherever we can, but even at 2%, it adds up over time!  We had to address this.

It began to feel like the “ elephant” in the room.  And it was made of concrete!

Another use for a concrete Elephant!

After studying our recycling history and the countless recycling depositories, bins, crates, odds and sods that we now have at Solus one of our summer students, Sam, posed an interesting question.   How many concrete elephants (in weight) have we recycled since our program went into place over six years ago?

So this became a project for our fresh faced summer student.  How much concrete has been recycled and what does happen to the contents of the Solus’ recycling bins after they are taken off site? … this is what she found.

When there is any excess or reject concrete at Solus, the concrete gets put into a bin and gets picked up by a 1-800 Got Junk.  They take it to a Sand and Gravel company, and gets broken down.  Recycled concrete is used for a variety of construction purposes.

–         Aggregate base course (road base)

–         Untreated aggregate used as foundation for roadway pavement (under pavement surfacing) forms structural foundation for paving

–         Soil stabilization – the incorporation of recycled aggregate and using it in soil to stabilize and change the water susceptibility

–         Recycled concrete can be used as a foundation to lay on the ground around pipes as, is used as an alternative to virgin aggregate

–         Landscape materials

With 3,500 – 4,000 lbs of concrete recycled every 5-6 weeks, there has been an accumulation of approximately 220,000 lbs of concrete recycled since Solus first started recycling concrete in this manner. An additional 60,000 lbs was recycled when a thorough “house-cleaning” was conducted in 2010, giving us these rather grand totals,

280,000 lbs, or

127,000 kg, or

140 tons of concrete recycled!

To put that in perspective, the African Elephant, one of the largest land animals on Earth, weighs on average 9,500 lbs.

= almost 30 Elephants!

Or a herd of elephants!

All of this concrete was diverted from our local landfill.

Our next blog will talk about all the other waste streams and where they go.

Stay Tuned for Part II on the Solus Recycling Series.


Image credit: <a href=’’>teenbull / 123RF Stock Photo</a>